DEDICATION: Teacher and MMA fighter Anton Zafir loves the Whitsundays.
DEDICATION: Teacher and MMA fighter Anton Zafir loves the Whitsundays. Dane Lillingstone

From teacher to UFC

ANTON Zafir has been on a rollercoaster ride the past eight years - from moving to the Whitsundays for a job as a high school teacher to fighting in the world's biggest mixed martial arts organisation in Las Vegas.

"I was only supposed to be here six months on contract teaching at Prossie High,” he said. "Since then I've just been fighting, training and enjoying the lifestyle up here.”

Anton opened Whitsunday Martial Arts around three years ago and his hard work paid off when he was hired by the UFC and fought on their Melbourne card in November.

What do you do to chill out?

Any time I get off is to just get out on the water, wakeboarding, jet skiing, if I can get away, go down for a surf. Anything to do with the water is my way to chill out.

What's the best place to eat in the Whitsundays?

Breakfast - Capers or Sidewalk Cafe. Dinner - Mr Bones is pretty good. Capers does make a mean curry as well.

Favourite movie?

Bad Boys 1 and 2. I'm pretty excited for the third one to come out next year. Pretty much I'm a huge geek for anything Marvel or Star Wars. Captain America is pretty cool.

What's your occupation?

Teacher at Proserpine State High School teaching science and HP and a full-time professional fighter.

Plans for the next 12 months?

I want to try and fight more overseas. On top of that, just enjoying life. I've sacrificed a lot over the last six or seven years to get where I got to. I'm just going to enjoy it a little bit and try and travel as much as I can.

Anything else you want to add?

I just want to thank the people that have helped get me to where I am today and to the sponsors and people of Airlie Beach who have helped me with the gym and helped me with fighting. It's been great to have that support.


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